In just a few weeks, Brad Kilgore will return to Wynwood — this time with some heavy hitters creating the cocktails to pair with his refined cuisine: Bar Lab.
Last month, the new Arlo Wynwood hotel announced that its food and beverage operations would be spearheaded by Kilgore on the culinary side and Gabriel Orta and Elad Zvi's Bar Lab on the cocktail program, with information on the hotel's flagship restaurant forthcoming.
The trio has announced that they will open MaryGold's, a Florida-inspired brasserie offering modern American cuisine that highlights the multiple cultures that Miami embraces. No opening date is set, but the hotel's website notes a November 1 opening date for the property.
Brad Kilgore explains the Florida brasserie concept to New Times: "Brasserie makes me think of a nice restaurant, but it also lets me know that there's a bit of something for everyone. If you go to a seafood restaurant, for instance, you're limited. Not everyone will like seafood."
As for the Florida part? Kilgore wants the restaurant to represent Florida as it is now and its future. "Florida is a melting pot. Partnering with Gabe [Orta] and Elad [Zvi] from Bar Lab represents the past decade of how food has matured in Miami. This is not the Florida cuisine of the past. This is the challenge."
Kilgore says that Florida will be represented in some key ingredients that the team will source, like grits that he will use in his Florida clambake. "First of all, the grits had to be more than grown and ground in Florida. They had to be good. I tried them and they were excellent. It took me a lot of research and phone calls, but it was worth it."
Florida will also be represented in the restaurant's baked Florida dessert — a riff on classic baked Alaska. "We are as far away from Alaska as you can be in the United States, so we made a baked Florida," says Kilgore, as he explains the dish. "We start with a panna cotta made with local yogurt and Meyer lemon. Then, there's a layer of Florida orange creamsicle and a passionfruit curd hidden underneath a light airy meringue. Tableside, we toast the meringue with citrus and spice-infused Haitian rum."
The inventive chef is still finishing the menu but says he's got some more tricks up his sleeve, like an appetizer that he says marries the "brasserie" and "Florida" in one dish: brioche beignets topped with jerk oxtail ragù and aged Gouda mousse, topped with toasted coconut salt.
"I'm going to bring a lot of cool Florida ingredients to the table," says Kilgore, although he's quick to say that this is not a locally-sourced restaurant. "It's not feasible because of our growing season, but Florida has been really good to us, and I feel like we can highlight what's coming from the ground here," he adds.
Bar Lab's global beverage director, Christine Wiseman, will oversee the cocktail program at MaryGold's. The program hasn't been finalized, and sample menu items haven't been released yet, but expect cocktails that will compliment Kilgore's culinary menu utilizing local citrus and other tropical notes.
The restaurant is designed by Meyer Davis and Miami-based Mad Artistic. A wraparound bar finished in Calacatta marble and wood seats 20 people for a pre-dinner drink.
The dining room, decorated in natural woods and greenery, seats about 65 diners who can choose between booths, banquettes, and tables. An outdoor patio offers an additional 55 patrons.
Just outside the restaurant, find Mary G's, a grab-and-go counter offering sandwiches, pastries, salads, and vintage candy.
MaryGold's at Arlo Wynwood. 2217 NW Miami Ct., Miami; arlohotels.com. Opening for lunch and dinner in early November.